Cheltenham Festival16-19 March

The Cheltenham roar won’t be heard this year; however, the 2021 festival still arrives with the same anticipation as always.

It’s been a season to remember so far for BetVictor Brand Ambassador Rachael Blackmore, and with a hugely exciting book of rides, we’re all hoping the jockey has more success over the next four days.

As ever, we caught up with Rachael as she shares her thoughts ahead of day one at Prestbury Park.

‘It is safe to say we are all looking forward to the biggest week in racing. Whilst it’s sad we won’t have the usual thousands of fans in attendance cheering us home, I hope everyone enjoys the television coverage and can make the best of it in their own way.

It is with huge thanks to the fine work from Dr Jenifer Pugh and her counterparts at the BHA that we can continue to race. Of course, it will feel a little different without the amateur riders, but let’s hope they’re back for the three days at Aintree next month.’

Irascible

Cheltenham (1.20)

I kick off a huge week of Cheltenham Festival with Irascible (1.20) in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. He’s a lovely horse and has been recently running well in grade one company.

Keeping his best work for the racecourse, he’s well entitled to take his chance here off the back of a few solid runs.

Nicer ground will help him, and despite maybe not having the most experience going into this, it’s a bonus that he takes things in his stride.

We know what we’re up against having faced Appreciate It twice before, that said, we couldn’t be happier with Irascible and we’re hoping he can get us off to the best possible start.

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Captain Guinness

Cheltenham (1.55)

8/1

Next, I partner Captain Guinness (1.55) in the Arkle Chase. It was unfortunate what happened to him at Leopardstown the last day when he fell, as I felt he was in the process of running a huge race.

There will be no hiding place in this with the likes of Allmankind and of course Shiskin in there, however, he has all the ability to run a big race and if he runs as well as we know he can, he could be in the mix at the business end.

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Honeysuckle

Cheltenham (3.05)

7/4

In the Champion Hurdle I partner Honeysuckle (3.05)What more can I say?  She’s been an unbelievable mare to be involved with and her performance in the Irish Champion Hurdle was her best to date.

She’s been very well since and Coleman Comerford, who rides her out everyday, couldn’t be happier with her.

So, she seems ready for the day and we’re hoping she can keep doing what she does best like she always has.

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Minella Melody

Cheltenham (3.40)

Eleven line up in the Mares’ Hurdle where I partner Minella Melody (3.40). Finishing second in behind Concertista on her last two starts, she has run well in defeat on both occasions.

So, there’s no reason she can’t run another solid race here. She’s in tip-top condition, so I’m really looking forward to the ride and I’m confident she can run well again.

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Odds are correct at the time of posting

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